This year our Christmas wine list is bigger than ever. I have picked 60 bottles – whites and reds; sparkling wines and champagnes; ports, sherries and sweet wines – to help you to stock up your Christmas drinks cupboard.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas.
Tesco finest* Saint Mont 2016, France (12.5%, Tesco, £6 or £4.50 each if buying six bottles in store until Dec 4)
Made in Gascony from local grapes gros manseng, petit courbu and arrufiac, it’s unoaked but has a glossy texture and tastes of white blossom and pink grapefruit. Winner.
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Côtes du Rhône white 2016, France (12.5%, Sainsbury’s, £7)
A gentle blend of grenache blanc, viognier, roussanne, bourboulenc and clairette. Part of the wine is oaked, giving a subtle spice and the flavours are reminiscent of peaches and honeysuckle.
Morrisons The Best Gruner Veltliner 2015, Austria (12.5%, Morrisons, £8)
The slightly smoky, flinty, white pepper and grapefruit flavour of Austria’s signature grape makes it a Badoit among white wines. This one’s made for Morrisons by Markus Huber.
When in Rome Beneventano Falanghina 2016, Italy (12%, Waitrose, £25.99 for 2.25l, equiv to £8.67 a bottle)
And the award for most useful white of the festive season goes to… this delicious bag in box. It reminds me of orange blossom and a freshwater stream. The neroli-scented grape is falanghina. My star buy.
Berry Bros & Rudd Reserve White by Collovray & Terroir 2016, Pays d’Oc, France (13%, Berry Bros & Rudd, £8.75)
A blend of three grapes from the foothills of the Pyrenees. The result is refreshing but broad rather than nippy – a perfect winter white.
The Society’s Hunter Valley Semillon 2017, Australia (11%, The Wine Society, £7.95)
Brokenwood’s young sémillon is incredibly refreshing, and this one’s all lithe lemon and lime with a hint of apricot. One for hot smoked salmon with horseradish.
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2016, Clare Valley, Australia (12%, Tesco, £10)
Bone-dry riesling that moves like a dart. The combination of austerity and vividity is exhilarating – lime cordial, lime juice and lilac. On strong form this year.
Château Bauduc Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Bordeaux, France (12%, fromvineyardsdirect.com £10.95)
A crisp, unoaked white. Unlike the wines of Marlborough, Bordeaux sauvignon blanc has gentlemanly understatement. Think unripe nectarines.
Tesco finest* Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2016 Australia (13.5%, Tesco, £11 or £8.25 each if buying six bottles in store until Dec 4)
Australian chardonnay is no longer fat and pineappley but lemony and fresh. This one reminds me of lemon curd on wholemeal toast. Great value for money.
Petite Arvine Valle d’Aosta La Crotta di Vegneron 2016, Italy (13.5%, The Wine Society, £12.95)
This blossom-scented white is made from the Swiss grape petite arvine, and smells of sweet lemons and alpine flowers. Wonderful with cured ham.
Château Tour Léognan 2015 Péssac Leognan, Bordeaux, France (12.5%, Waitrose, £14.99)
This is a barrel-aged blend of both sauv blanc and semillon that tastes of baked white and pink grapefruits, with a hint of pine needles and lemon as well as wood spice.
Domaine Moreau-Naudet Petit Chablis 2015 France (12.5%, Lea & Sandeman, £17.50, or £15.95 each if buying 12 bottles)
Petit chablis often disappoints but this one has the two elements you want – the bony tang of damp limestone and oyster shells, with a wash of citrus.
Château d’Epiré Savennières 2007, Loire, France (13.5%, yapp.co.uk, £18.75)
One for aficionados of the mature dry savennières style, with its whiff of baked apples, autumn leaves, vacherin and mushrooms, and its tang of lemon curd. What a great cheese wine.
Jean-Marc Vincent Montagny 1er Cru 2014, Burgundy, France (13%, The Wine Society, £20)
Characterised by dazzling precision and an edgy gleam. The freshness dances through the typical nuttiness of the Montagny, and I like the gentle lemon curd taste.